Sunday, 24 February 2013

500 calorie days

Not sure what 500 calories in a day looks like? Here's a couple for you to look at. Personally I would want to eat my meal before the evening and the fasting days are not the ones to run a marathon or do your hardest workout! Don't forget to drink plenty of water 500 calorie meal planner Breakfast Porridge (40g oats) and blueberries (145g) A tangerine Dinner Chicken stir-fry (one chicken fillet, handful sugar snap peas, 100g cabbage, 2 carrots, ginger, coriander garlic, soy sauce) Breakfast Yoghurt (small pot natural fat free) Blueberries (700g) and ham (40g) Dinner Feta Nicoise salad (1 egg, handful lettuce, handful green beans 100g, chopped cucumber, 90g feta cheese & 6 black olives)

lovely low calorie foods

OK - so you think you'd like to give the 5:2 a go? Doesn't sound too bad - eat 'normally ' for 5 days and have 2 low calorie days a week - easiest to do if they are non consecutive. So what DO you eat on these days? You have some choices here; a) a mix of protein shakes and aloe vera gel b) Lighter Life food packs c) conventional food - calorie controlled I can help with a) & b) and here are some options for c) Top Low Calorie foods (per 100g) Food stuffs Calories per 100 gm Food stuffs Calories per 100gm Broccoli 32 Celery 8 Apricots 32 Blackberries 26 Grapefruit 30 Tomatoes 20 Kale 33 Mushrooms 16 Red Pepper 30 Satsumas 31 Strawberries 28 Cod 80 Egg whites 50 Tofu 70 Low fat cottage cheese 72 Low fat live yoghurt 66 Prawns 69 Baked beans 83 Lean Ham 105 Nice recipes on my next blog!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

5:2 the fast for you?

OK - so everyone is talking about it - the 5:2 fasting diet. You can eat for 5 days of the week and fast on two (non sequential) days - the definition of fasting here is 500 calories for women and 600 for men. Why would you do this? Well, its said to be relatively easy - a very low calorie day is fine if you know that the next day you are going to eat normally - not go mad - just eat normally. And the health benefits are said to be great. A 2006 study by the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention centre in Manchester found that this method led to an average loss of 6kg of fat in 6 months by a study group - there was some muscle loss too, so its really important to keep exercising when dieting. This study also showed that the 2 day fasters had a 25% improvement in their insulin function, a problem that can lead to type 2 Diabetes. Another benefit is said to be a lowering of LDL - the 'bad' cholesterol and reduced levels of 'Insulin-Like growth Factor1' (IGF-1)- which can be a marker for cancer risk. All this is said to be achieved because fasting gives the body a break form processing food and time to do some repair work. Research suggests that this happens because over eating causes high levels of insulin and the hormone leptin which tell our cells to multiply and grow. Then cell maintenance is neglected and damaged cells accumulate which can lead to health problems such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Clearly this way with food is new and needs further investigating (or rather 'new to us' - its been done before)but if you fancy losing some weight and maintaining that new weight - this might be worth a try. There is even talk that it might be good at delaying the onset of Alzheimers, definitely something that interests me! Keep watching our blog to find out more about what to eat on those very low calorie days.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

What to eat for breakfast?

I promised a breakfast – so here goes Well, you would have to look long and hard before you found something to beat porridge. But not the ‘with added’ stuff – no syrup, no packets with little extras, just plain porridge – and not a bucket full – about 35g to 40 g will do. I make mine with milk and water, about half and half. Failing that – how about a couple of Weetabix – nice and quick and easy What we are aiming for is some complex carbohydrates – the slow burn ones that will leave you feeling full and avoid that mid morning snacking. Lots of cereals are simple carbs that give you a sugar high and are used up quickly and leave you starving at about 11.00 – just when the biscuits get passed around! If you really can’t manage without toast – make sure its as brown and wholegrain as you can get – a boiled egg with your toast would be great. Drink plenty of water (avoid large amounts of fruit juice – check the carton – lots of calories!) and be mindful about the amount of caffeine you consume. Try not to miss breakfast – it won’t save calories – rather it will lead to over consumption when you do get to food (and encourage your body to hold onto food as fat – just in case no more food comes along for a while!) Plain yoghurt is good – go for the low fat variety and add a few flaked almonds and some berries (try goji – they are a bit different) . What ever you choose for breakfast, do try to eat mindfully – be aware of what you are eating, mouthful by mouthful – give your brain a chance to register that there is food in your stomach. Next we’ll talk about lunch………

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Well, the world has woken up to what we have been banging on about for ages - there is a problem - we are weighing too much ! And, what's more, there is a psychological element to our eating! I can honestly say that everyone of us who has ever eaten too much on a day to day basis will be able, if helped, to recognize that food is not always eaten because we are hungry but for many many other reasons. Boredom, being happy, being sad, being busy, because we have had a bad day, because we jolly well can. Sound familiar? What of us 'war babies' - (stop reading now if you don't know what a Ration Book is), those of us whose parents lived through dreadful times and for whom throwing any food was a waste and it was to be eaten at all costs and to remember the starving children in what ever part of the world troubled them. Now, don't get me wrong - it is a disgrace that we get progressively fatter when great swaths of the world have children dying of starvation - a dreadful indictment of our society. But my clearing my plate will not help - but what will help is having less on my plate to begin with. We need to stop eating when we are full (or better still, before we are full). Do you struggle with your weight? Do you know what a healthy diet looks like? Would you like some help to keep on track and to make great food choices? Drop us an email - we have trained weight management counselors waiting to help you

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Jogging is good for the brain!

An interesting article in The Sunday Times this morning stating that 'Exercise not only strengthens your heart and muscles - it also beefs up your brain'. They state that taking aerobic exercise increases the size of critical brain structures and improves cognition and intelligence especially in children and older adults. For more info, click on this link: What are you waiting for, get your running shoes on! If you can't face going to the gym, a run in the fresh hour costs you nothing but time and is a great way of seeing things that you simply miss when you drive by. Just a gentle reminder that we hold a running club in Bluntisham every Wednesday, whatever the weather! We start at 7pm by the Bar-o-graph and all abilities are welcome.

Friday, 8 February 2013


I talk to lots and lots of people about what they eat. I ask my BUPA clients what a typical food day looks like. I talk to my LighterLife clients about their plans for food for the day. Many of my PT clients keep food diaries which we review. I talk over the phone about food and we talk food at home. We are practically obsessed by food - I would love to give you all a 'best food day' and then we could all follow it and we would all weigh what we want to weigh - but just too much gets in the way. Time, cost, parties, friends all need us to have a flexible approach. And that is before we have considered eating for reasons other than hunger! Often we will eat when we are tired, or stressed, or happy, or sad or just because its there! Over the next few weeks I am going to post a recipe of the week. I am going to keep an eye out for meals that 'hit the spot' without expanding the waist line. The first one will be a breakfast idea that will help to prevent those mid morning 'munchies', so look out for future posts.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Mind and body

Browsing through the Sunday Times today we came across an article in the 'Style' magazine, no, not the one on the impossibly skinny models in totally impractical dresses - the article about the links between mind and body. The promotion suggested that a Personal Trainer who helps with what is going on in your head as well as what is happening to your body is a novelty! Well, here at Forefront Fitness, we know different. We have always recognized that one is so dependent on the other that they can't be separated. When Marion had a PT and was going through a really tough patch, she often used her hour to chat through some difficult feelings and it really helped. And this is an important part of what we offer - we really do want to help you to be your best - and that may mean a chance to exercise mind and body. As a qualified weight management counselor Marion is skilled in using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Transactional Analysis to help clients to reframe some of their food orientated thoughts. And Steve is about to embark on a Neuro Linguistic Progamming course. Those of you who know Steve will understand that this represents a huge step out of his comfort zone, but we are so committed to fully helping our clients that we are ready to push our own boundaries. We know that if your head isn't in the right place then getting your body where you want it to be is nearly impossible - why not get in contact - let us help you work on your head stuff at the same time as your body works?